A Blaine man is holding a launch party for his newest mystery novel “A Prairie Homicidal Companion.”
Brian Landon, who as a seven-year-old boy published a newspaper, releases his third book in a series at a book signing Saturday, Sept. 1, 3 to 5 p.m. at Dixie Blue BBQ, 2330 Cloud Drive N.E. in Blaine.
As in his first two books, expect many laughs in this one. The story is about a 40-year-old cop, Doyle Malloy, who’s so bad at his job he has to hire his own private detective to solve his cases for him. Set in North Dakota in the 1980s, Malloy, a doofus of epic proportions, is tracking a serial killer who weasels his way into victims’ homes and offers them a poisoned pickle. Then he robs their houses.
A second interweaving plot centers on the murder of an actor. The action crime takes place on stage during a performance of the venerated radio show “A Prairie Home Companion.”
The book is 194 pages in length at a cost of $14.95.
Brian Landon snapshot
Raised: Ramsey, later moved to Blaine
Education: Franklin Elementary School in Anoka, Sandburg Middle School and Anoka High School. Holds a bachelor’s degree in English and film studies from the University of Minnesota
Favorite authors: John Sandford, Michael Connelly and Brian Freeman
Now reading: “Loaded Dice” by James Swain
Favorite movie genre: James Bond movies, action films
Role model: Local author William Kent Krueger
Landon’s first book in the series was titled “A Grand Ol’ Murder.” Set on St. Paul’s Grand Avenue, the story is about the murder of a maid in a famous actor’s mansion.
The second book, “The Case of the Unnecessary Sequel,” is about a murder on the movie set of “Fargo 2.”
Landon started writing at the young age of seven. He wrote a newspaper for his classmates at Franklin Elementary School in Anoka. The five- to 10-page publication featured stories, crosswords and comics.
He later majored in English and film studies in college and has taken writing courses at The Loft in Minneapolis.
Landon receives the greatest joy from his craft when people laugh at his material or offer positive feedback.
Still, his style of humor infused in his mystery writing poses some challenges.
“There’s a fine line where you want people to laugh but you don’t want to offend anyone,” Landon said.
For his day job, Landon works in trust operations at Ameriprize Financial of Minneapolis.
He enjoys writing mysteries because they are highly structured into crime, investigation and resolution. He is then able to weave in plot threads. He throws in red herrings and a romantic subplot or two. In essence, the mystery “gives you an open canvas,” he said.
Landon has also edited and contributed to a fourth book “Why Did Santa Leave a Body? Yuletide Tales of Murder and Mayhem.”
With his new book, Landon aspires to attract a larger reading audience.
“Hopefully, more people will read my books and, hopefully, it will create some fans in the process,” he said.
Brian Landon’s “A Prairie Homicidal Companion” may be purchased at the Dixie Blue BBQ book-signing event, at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com and at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 710 County Highway 10 N.E., Blaine. $14.95. For more information, visit Landon’s website at www.brianlandon.com.
Elyse Kaner is at [email protected]